17th November 2019
PUSAG ADVOCATES FOR A TOTAL REFORM IN GHANA’S LEGAL EDUCATION
Private Universities Students Association of Ghana wishes to add its voice to the recent back and forth between Law Students and the General Legal Counsel. We have become aware of the fact that both, in their quest to be heard have all been invited by the Constitutional And Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament.
Few weeks ago, former Director of Ghana School of Law, Mr. Ansa Asare pressed on students of Ghana to rise up against the conduct of the General Legal Council which seeks to kill their vibes and bury the aspiration of those who are interested in joining the legal profession. It is against this backdrop that, we, as the mother students body of Private Universities in Ghana are using this opportune time to call on National Union of Ghana Students (NUGs), Ghana Union of Professional Students(GUPS), University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), and other student unions and interested stakeholders to come out and rally support behind our the Law Students.
Before we tackle the substance of this whole brouhaha, we would like to make it clear that, “when a witch cries in the night and the next morning a child is dead, the fetish priest in that vicinity must be spared of any allegation connected to the death of that child”. This proverbial expression underscores the fact that, from the very first day the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana vehemently spoke against the mass production of lawyers in Ghana and threatened that, in so far as she has anything to do with our legal education, mass production of lawyers won’t happen, a child was going to die. It is also not in doubt that, a few weeks after her statement, results of the recent exams to the Ghana school of law shocked the whole country.
The idea behind the entrance exams was exposed when Professor S.K Asare challenged the GLC at the supreme court. The fundamental idea behind this entrance exams as part of the admission process is to limit the number of intake at the Ghana School of Law because of lack of capacity and not an issue of quality.
The very submission of the Attorney General who was joint to the case as a nominal defendant also spoke about the unconstitutional limitation of access to professional legal education.
According to the court, that assertion is a clear admission that over the years as the Council approved institutions other than UG to admit persons to pursue courses of instruction leading to the award of degrees in law as a requirement of the two stage systems of legal education that it had put in place, not much attention appeared to be given to the rise in the number of persons likely to be turned out in relation to classroom spaces in the School contrary to the clear statutory provision in section 13 of Act 32 when read in the light of regulation 2 of LI 1296.
The situation which according to defendants compelled the Council to introduce the new requirements could in all sincerity have been avoided if the Council had given careful thought and consideration to the likely impact of the huge numbers of law graduates on the facilities available in the School.
We have also become aware of the frustration at the Ghana School of Law pertaining to a worrying situation where a trail in one paper pushes the person back to write all the papers he passed again together with the trailed paper as a fresh start. It is highly unacceptable in any professional environment. Even in ICA or other professional exams, a single trail affords the person the opportunity to rewrite the said paper and not the ones he has obtained credible passes.
We are by this release throwing our support to the law students to demand a total overhaul of our legal education. The barriers to entry must also be set aside.
Again, we are by this proposing that other qualified law faculties with the needed infrastructure must be properly regulated by the GLC and be allowed to run both the professional law course as well as the LLB courses to ease pressure on the limited facilities at the Ghana School of law.
The very LI that fortifies the entrance exams must be repealed to expand access to the Ghana school of law.
National PUSAG President/CEO
Media Relations Officer
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